How to Share Calendars Using iCloud

iCloud logo over paper planning calendar
One of the great features of Apple’s iCloud is the ability to share a calendar publicly as well as privately. This means that a family can have a shared events calendar, a couple can keep each other up to date on what they’re doing, and a business can list its open hours and events for everyone to see.

Sharing a calendar from OS X is easy if you follow the steps outlined below. Refer back to Apple’s help documentation if you need additional help.

Before we get into how to share calendars, let’s look at the difference between private and public calendars in iCloud.

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Public vs. Private

A Public Calendar is a calendar that can be shared with anyone, regardless of the calendar app they use. This means that even someone who doesn’t have an iCloud account can view your calendar.

This is perfect if you want to share events with a wide group of people and you don’t care who sees it. While anyone can view a public calendar, only the creator can edit it or add new events.

A Private Calendar is very different. Only the specific people you invite to share the calendar can see it. It can only be shared with other iCloud users, and as the creator you have two types of access available to hand out.

  • Participants with View Only access can view the contents of the calendar but can’t change it.
  • People you choose to give View & Edit access will be able to add new events to the shared calendar, as well as edit existing events. This includes the ability to track responses to events with invitations. While these users can edit the calendar, only the creator can invite new users to share the calendar.

You can read more about the different types of sharing here.

How to Share a Calendar Publicly

To share a calendar publicly with iCloud, first open up the Calendar app on your Mac and right-click on the calendar you want to share.

  • Select Share Calendar.Drop-down menu with Share Calendar highlighted
  • In the share dialog box, check the Public Calendar checkbox and then click on the webcal address below it.
  • Copy this address and paste it wherever you want it to be shared. You can also click the Share button next to the address to share via Mail, Messages or Facebook.
    Calendar Share dialog box
  • Click Done to finish the process.

Now any changes you make to this calendar will show in the link provided. This link can be added to just about any calendar client, including OS X Calendar, Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar, as well as others.

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How to Share a Calendar Privately

If you’d rather share the calendar privately, select Share Calendar as above and make sure the Public Calendar checkbox is unchecked.

  • Enter the email address of the iCloud user you wish to share the calendar with. If the person is already in your address book you can enter his or her name instead.
  • Once you enter the name you can click the down arrow next to the name or email address to access the share settings menu.Share settings menu
  • In the share settings menu, you can choose how to privately share the calendar. You can allow the other user to view and edit the calendar, or view it only. Either way, the calendar can only be seen by those you invite to it.
  • Click Done and the user will receive an email with instructions on how to accept the calendar.

Sharing with iOS

If you’re using an iOS device for your calendars, you can actually share calendars right from the device.

  • Open the Calendar app on your iOS device and tap the Calendars button.
  • In the list of calendars that comes up, tap the i next to the calendar you wish to share.
  • Tap Add Person to invite a person to your calendar. You can now send out your invitation and decide the level of access the person or persons you share with will receive.

Sharing a calendar on iOS

To share an iOS calendar publicly, scroll to the bottom of the Edit Calendar screen and turn on the Public Calendar setting.

Edit Calendar screen on iOS

That’s all there is to sharing calendars with iOS. While not really complicated, it’s a lot easier when you know where the settings are.

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